IT delays '˜grim' for new minister

The Scottish Government's controversial CAP payments IT system means Scottish Government could face a fine of £125 million, a new Audit Scotland report concludes.

Thursday, 19th May 2016, 11:04 am
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2016, 12:07 pm
John Devlin. 18/03/15. CUMBERNAULD. Badenheath Farm. Stock photos of cows and sheep. Cow , cows , sheep , lamb, lambs, pedigree Ayrshire cows.

As of March 2016 the programme was spending £4 million a month, meaning funding could run out before the system fully meets European Commission regulations. Non-compliance could lead to financial penalties of between £40 million and £125 million being imposed on the Scottish Government.

The report states the current system is yet to properly process 2015’s claims, hasn’t completed mapping requirements and is still to pay farmers in full.

Problems with the system continue to delay payment of more than £53 million in funding for over 1,000 farming businesses in the Borders.

Local MSP John Lamont has written to new Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing MSP to ask what Scottish Government is doing to ensure Borders businesses get their payments on time.

Mr Lamont said: “This report will make for grim reading for the Fergus Ewing in his new role. There is now a real concern that the problems are simply going to over-run to next year.

“The Scottish Government really needs to get a grip on this situation.”